Intravenous minocycline in acute stroke: a randomized, controlled pilot study and meta-analysis

Edith Kohler, David A Prentice, Timothy R Bates, Graeme J Hankey, Anne Claxton, Jolandi van Heerden, David Blacker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Minocycline, in animal models and 2 small randomized controlled human trials, is a promising neuroprotective agent in acute stroke. We analyzed the efficacy and safety of intravenous minocycline in acute ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.

METHODS: A multicenter prospective randomized open-label blinded end point evaluation pilot study of minocycline 100 mg administered intravenously, commenced within 24 hours of onset of stroke, and continued 12 hourly for a total of 5 doses, versus no minocycline. All participants received routine stroke care. Primary end point was survival free of handicap (modified Rankin Scale, ≤2) at day 90.

RESULTS: Ninety-five participants were randomized; 47 to minocycline and 48 to no minocycline. In the intention-to-treat population, 29 of 47 (65.9%) allocated minocycline survived free of handicap compared with 33 of 48 (70.2%) allocated no minocycline (rate ratio, 0.94; 95% confidence interval, 0.71-1.25 and odds ratio, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.31-1.71). A meta-analysis of the 3 human trials suggests minocycline may increase the odds of handicap-free survival by 3-fold (odds ratio, 2.99; 95% CI, 1.74-5.16) but there was substantial heterogeneity among the trials.

CONCLUSIONS: In this pilot study of a small sample of acute stroke patients, intravenous minocycline was safe but not efficacious. The study was not powered to identify reliably or exclude a modest but clinically important treatment effect of minocycline. Larger trials would improve the precision of the estimates of any treatment effect of minocycline.

CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION URL: Unique identifier: ACTRN12612000237886.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2493-2499
Number of pages7
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013


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